2023 in Review

Ominous green computer monitors. The center one says “2023 I'm Coming”
Photo by Vertex Designs on Unsplash

I’ve often closed out the year with two blog posts: my tool report, and a year-in-review. It’s been a pretty full year!

One of the major accomplishments was moving to Philadelphia to take a new position in the information science department at Drexel University1. I’m very excited for the coming years here, as the interdisciplinary information science context is an ideal home for my approach to research and scholarship. I did have to give up tenure for the move, but I think it was worth it.

Beyond that, a few other good things have happened this year…

Student Achievements

  • My first Ph.D. student Amifa Raj successfully defended in June, and is now an applied scientist at Microsoft.
  • My second Ph.D. student Ngozi Ihemelandu successfully defended in December, and is now on the job market.
  • Srabanti Guha successfully completed her M.S. project and defense in May. Since Drexel info sci’s M.S. programs are not research-based, she is probably my last M.S. advisee for the foreseeable future.
  • Undergrad RA Christine Pinney first-authored and presented a full paper at CHIIR 2023 on gender in IR research, in collaboration with Amifa, Alex Hanna, and myself.
  • Amifa’s internship project (on which I collaborated) published as a short paper in SIGIR 2023.
  • Ngozi’s work on statistical inference for recommender system experiments published as a short paper in SIGIR 2023.
  • Ngozi’s work on candidate set sampling in recsys evaluation published at WI-IAT 2023.
  • Amifa’s work on measuring fairness in grid layouts presented at FAccTRec 2023.
  • Ngozi’s paper on multiple comparison correction in search & recsys experiments was accepted as a short paper for ECIR 2024.
  • Amifa’s paper on grid-aware reranking for fairness was accepted to the IR for Good track at ECIR 2024.
  • Preprint with Amifa on integrated browsing models for IR metrics.

Other Research Achievements

This year I made a total of 10 paper submissions and posted 2 preprints (not counting preprints of accepted material); we had 4 rejects to get our 6 conference publications (some of which were resubmissions of work rejected last year)2.


Service & Organization

  • Program committees: FAccT (AC), SIGIR, RecSys (SPC), ECIR.
  • Co-organized the 6th FAccTRec workshop.
  • Numerous journal reviews.
  • 2 international research proposal reviews.
  • Final year of FAccT executive committee service.
  • TheWebConf and SIGIR best paper committees.
  • Joined the editorial board for Foundations and Trends in Information Retrieval.
  • Drexel IS Ph.D. committee (ongoing).
  • Drexel IS faculty search committee (ongoing).
  • Traveled to CHIIR (Austin, TX), SIGIR (Taipei), FAccT (Chicago), and RecSys (Singapore).


I’m pretty sure I’ve probably forgotten a thing or two here. It’s helpful to me to sit and reflect on what I’ve gotten done in the course of a year. I’m especially glad to have such a long section of student accomplishments to list. And hopefully some reporting on rejection levels is helpful to others3.

And thank you very much to my excellent collaborators who have made all of this possible.

For the next year, there are of course many new things in planning (or progress), and I look forward to starting with some new Ph.D. students at Drexel.

  1. The funnel for this search, if anyone is curious, was 9 applications (I was quite selective in where I applied this time), 2 phone screens, and 1 on-site that yielded the offer I accepted.↩︎

  2. I have an Excel workbook in which I record all paper submissions, grant submissions, etc., and their outcomes. Makes it easier to prepare end-of-year review materials, and lets me see my overall publication statistics.↩︎

  3. I like the idea of a “CV of Failures”, and more generally normalizing and documenting the amount of rejection we get in academia. I don’t publish the list of exact failures and rejections because much of that work is now under review elsewhere, but hopefully seeing some of the numbers is at least helpful.↩︎